Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 8 November 2007

NHS demonstration 3 November

Don't just 'celebrate' the NHS - fight back

OVER 7,000 people took to London's streets on 3 November for the long-awaited trade union-called national NHS demonstration. While billed as a 'celebration of the NHS', many on the march were commiserating at its ongoing destruction at the hands of the Labour government.

Liz Cowell, district nurse

As one nurse said: "I'm here to protest at privatisation." Another nurse who has worked for 45 years said: "Remember how lucky we are to have the NHS; some countries can't afford money for health care and other countries such as America, charge you for your health".

The march and rally, described as "flat" (by a PCS member) and "great" (by a Unison union official) brought many NHS staff and members of the public together chanting "PFI, no way, NHS here to stay".

The Trafalgar Square rally had speakers including Joe Harris, National Pensioners Convention general secretary, highlighting that he sees "good staff, trying hard, they are overworked and underpaid - and still 40% of older people leave hospital malnourished".

Another speaker explained that when he was born the NHS was there, when he went to Glastonbury and got an abscess the NHS was there, when he wanted to give up smoking using nicotine replacement - the NHS was there. He hoped it would still be there when he died.

Many speakers reiterated the principles upon which the NHS was founded, with a Unison Scotland speaker recounting how rich and poor are treated alike, poverty is not a disability and wealth is not an advantage.

Dave Prentis, Unison general secretary, claimed that his union only supports MPs who stand up for the NHS. Well, if Alan Johnson, the man planning to bring in US health insurers to help Primary Care Trusts commission services is "someone we can do business with", Mr Prentis appears somewhat misguided.

Nonetheless, a physiotherapist in the NHS described how, while tired of reforms, staff commitment had reduced waiting times and brought about improvements.

But these are the very staff the government expects to take a below-inflation rate pay increase - in effect a pay cut.

The question on many people's lips was: "Will this make any difference?" There were no solutions offered from the platform but many videos of individuals saying how they loved the NHS.

One union official said that hopefully this will be the last one (march/demo). Personally I hope it's just the start of many more, but not just marches but more serious, sustained action.

Around 280 copies of the socialist were sold on the demonstration. The meeting after the rally organised by the Socialist Party had 70 attendees with many new faces and many more unable to get into the venue.

At the meeting, there was unanimous backing for breaking the union-Labour Party link, for co-ordinated campaigning and for a new workers' party to properly represent workers and public alike.

That's because, as a hospital porter said on the march: "There's plenty of money around but it's just in the wrong hands".

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.

In The Socialist 8 November 2007:

Sick of the profit system? Come to Socialism 2007

Socialist Party workplace news

PCS backs further strike action

Build the left in the public-sector trade unions

International socialist news and analysis

Martial law imposed in Pakistan

Israel: Café waiters' strike victory

Free detained Nigerian students

Socialist Party news and analysis

'Competition' dominated by a few giants

Stop and search failure

Corporate crime: Sign of an out-of-control economy

Yarl's Wood camp protests

Jean Charles de Menezes: Unanswered questions after court case

Why Prince of mortgages resigned

Socialist Party NHS campaign

Don't just 'celebrate' the NHS - fight back

Staff shortages cause stress and anger

Support strikers at Northern General Hospital

Health workers strike against sacking

Education feature

Education, Education, Education

New schools but not enough rooms

NUT elections: "What are we waiting for?"

Workplace news

Fight Royal Mail victimisation


Home   |   The Socialist 8 November 2007   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  

Related links:


triangleNasty party out the Tories

triangleCarlisle NHS campaigners hand in petition to MP

triangleNHS meltdown - fight the Tory cuts

triangleToo much to cross the Mersey

triangleTories wreck our NHS


triangleThe fight against racial discrimination is tied to fighting against capitalist austerity

triangleUnison attacks Barts deal after failing to ballot their members for strike action

triangleSurrey County Council staff on collision course over pay freeze

triangleEscalate summer strike wave into coordinated action to defeat the pay cap

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns



Justice for Tube cleaners demo



Salford Unison condemns pay cuts


Royal Mail

CWU fights court attempt to stop national strike



Carlisle NHS campaigners hand in petition to MP



Don't wreck our rec! Campaigning to save green space in Standish



No more fire deaths - ensure safety now!



Cardiff Socialist Students confront 'Parasite' Jacob Rees-Mogg


John McDonnell

Manchester rally discussed unionisation and nationalisation



Join the Orgreave Halloween rally



Workplace news in brief


Democratic rights

Who's watching who?: The fight for justice, trade union and democratic rights


Northern Ireland

Boeing bust-up threatens thousands of skilled jobs



Too much to cross the Mersey


Royal Mail

Set for national strike action



Supporting the general strike in Catalonia

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party out the Tories

triangle11 Oct CWU fights court attempt to stop national strike

triangle11 Oct The fight against racial discrimination is tied to fighting against...

triangle11 Oct Catalonia: Workers can finish what Puigdemont won't

triangle6 Oct Boeing bust-up threatens thousands of skilled jobs

triangle4 Oct The nasty party turns on itself... but the Tories must be driven out

More ...

triangle16 Oct Teesside Socialist Party: After the party conferences

triangle17 Oct London: TUC lobby & rally; and London march

triangle18 Oct Warrington & St Helens Socialist Party: 1917-2017; the October Russian Revolution

triangle18 Oct Hackney Socialist Party: 100 years ago - the Bolshevik-led revolution

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017





















Platform setting: = No platform choice